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Mordechai Vanunu
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    (October 14, 1954- )
    Born in Marrakesh, Morocco
    Nuclear plant technician and shift manager at the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Israel (1976-85)
    Revealed to The Sunday Times of London knowledge of the Israeli nuclear program (September 1986)
    Drugged and kidnapped by Mossad agents while on vacation in Rome (September 30, 1986) and brought back to Israel to stand trial for treason and espionage
    Convicted in a secret trial and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment (February 17, 1988)
    Released from captivity April 21, 2004 but not allowed to leave Israel
    Arrested several times since initial release over 'parole violations'
    His opposition to weapons of mass destruction came only after nine years working with Israel to help produce them.
    The Sunday Times withheld the story for weeks in fear it would be burned again like it was with the Hitler Diaries hoax.
    Frustrated with the delay, he went to the tabloid Sunday Mirror with the story, where it is believed the owner tipped Israeli officials off.
    Waiting for his story to be published, he went on a Roman holiday with new girlfriend Cheryl Bentov, who was actually a secret Mossad agent, and subsequently abducted (known in the spy business as a honey trap).
    Labeled a traitor by the state of Israel, he spent 18 years in prison (11 in solitary confinement).
    In 2004, he verbally accused the state of Israel of complicity in the John F. Kennedy assassination.
    He has refused to allow folks to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, stating, 'I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. He is the man who was behind all the Israeli atomic policy.'
    He broke Israel's 'policy of deliberate ambiguity,' which neither acknowledges nor denies it possesses nuclear weapons.
    Amnesty International, calling him a 'prisoner of conscious,' has repeatedly tried to allow him asylum outside Israel, without success.
    Under intense interrogation by Shin Bet, Israel's security service, he was recorded saying 'I am neither a traitor nor a spy, I only wanted the world to know what was happening.'
    He has asked for asylum from Norway, Sweden and Ireland, but was turned down by those countries because they do not accept absentee asylum applications.
    Israeli journalist Yossi Melman wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz 'Vanunu's harassment by the Israeli government is unprecedented and represents a distortion of every accepted legal norm.'
    Daniel Ellsberg has gone on record referring to him as 'the preeminent hero of the nuclear era.'
    Awards he's received include the Right Livelihood Award in 1987, a John Lennon peace prize in 2004 (awarded by widow Yoko Ono), the Peace Prize of the Norwegian People in 2005, recognition by the Teach Peace Foundation in 2010, and the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal by the International League for Human Rights in 2010.
    Not surprisingly, awards and recognition are not what he wishes, stating, 'What I want is freedom and only freedom!'

Credit: Scar Tactics

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